Did they spray them through a stencil, draw them freehand or, like Step 7B of a giant airfix kit, simply dip a huge transfer in a huge saucer of warm water for a minutes and then have three blokes slide it into place?
I reckon they used a drawing pin with pencils on three carefully measured lenths of string to get the outlines, then whoever hadn't been on the sauce the night before (ergo, steady hands) filled in the colour with a Windsor and Newton Number 24.
Oh, hang on, flaw in plan, METAL aeroplanes, can't get the drawing pin in... Back to the brain storming Smithers (well one could say that back in the Twenties, before all this anarcho-pinko PC nonsense...)
Treadigraph almost had it! I've seen a small bolt (effectively the drawing pin) with its head held firmly against the skin being used as a pivot point. Then the individual roundel diameters were masked off with fine-line tape & paper and sprayed their respective colours in stages. Probably not the *proper* way but it worked.
I've heard of trammels and large sheets of tracing paper being used too. It must have been a real pain in the 30's when the red, white and blue roundels were ringed with yellow.
The modern way is to use a cast vinyl which is computer cut, it is either cut as a series of "polo mint" shapes or as a set of solid circles. They are best applied usinig soapy water to slide the shapes into position-just like a transfer , then a squeegee is used to remove the surplus water.The same technique can b used for registration letters and othe graphics. I photographed the registration letters on my Tiger, then traced the image using Adobe illustrator to generate a file that the computer could cut. This was because the lettering had been hand masked and painted originally.If anone needs any help please PM me.
Make a colour print of the design the customer wants, then stick it to the side of the aircraft with black tape on the corners (if the design happens to be triangular), for the customer to acept or not. The customer likes it and insists all aircraft are painted with exactly what was shown.
Any photos of Botswana Strikemasters around, you'll see the result!!
Our P&D guys used paper cut-outs and masking tape, but that were back in the good old days of the sixties and seventies. Nowadays some American company patented them as a trademark, so the RAF probably buys some of those giant decals you were talking about. They can't simply paint their own any more - except for the pale blue and pink variety...
We used to "Zap" Aussie aircraft by putting a ball & chain on the 'roo's leg. The Kiwi's used to "Zap" our aircraft by covering the red centre of our roundel with a Kiwi. One Vulcan flew as a RNZAF "V" Bomber for several weeks before any scrambled egg wearer noticed it and ordered it to be painted over.
Edited to add a link to the picture on Andy Leitch's "Vulcans in Camera" site
Last edited by Blacksheep; 26th Apr 2006 at 05:17.
Further to earlier threads our Air Cadet Sqn has just restored our Meteor NF14 gate guard and we asked this question. We visited the Restoration Centre at Cosford who showed us they use a pair of compasses to draw the circles then apply narrow ( 6 mm ) nylon marking tape along the lines, as it follows the curve. Then broader masking tape is applied to the waste side of the nylon tape to give a broader protection boundery when applying paint etc.
They also gave us the codes for the correct shades of red white and blue.
Neeless to say I am glad we were only applying RAF markings !!!